Friday, September 04, 2015

Leaving

8-29, Anna Maria Island
This morning, we left Florida.  I thought it would be excruciating when the time came to actually leave, knowing our child was buried here.  It's so ironic Gary and I spoke just the Sunday before our lives changed, about how irrational we are as humans about the death of our loved ones.  I remarked that since we know as Job wrote, that our bodies go back to the dust, but at the Resurrection we will see Him with our own eyes (Job 19:27); it shouldn't matter to us if those who leave us are cremated and scattered to the four winds, we know that He will raise them again, and it is no hinderance to Him.  I remember telling him I'm not sure why we stress so much about where we are buried, because we don't know any difference, and in that day we will all be raised together with Him, regardless of where we were buried.

And yet, during this process, I knew I wanted Abigail buried at home at Little Union.  I knew I couldn't bear the thought of her being buried in PA, only for us to possibly be moved across the country, never to return.  Perhaps it was the memories of decoration day as a child, or knowing the care that my grandmother takes in keeping up the graves of our family, but I couldn't bear the thought of it being alone and unkept, a place where flowers are never left.  The entire time part of me kept telling the rest of me how irrational I was being, how it really didn't matter.  And besides this was not her, she was gone.  That part still tells me, that I shouldn't grieve as those who have no hope, because I know better (I Thes. 4:13).

8-29, Me and Gary.  The only picture
we've had of just the two of us in a while.
I find that there are moments that I can think objectively and be rational, that I can function.  And then unexplainably, there is the overwhelming realization that my baby the one that at times I could swear I still feel moving, is not safe inside, but gone, and I will never hold her again.  That ache to hold her is nearly unbearable.  And I wonder how I can function long term, with a gaping hole in my life, in our family, a family that is no longer complete, that never will be this side of eternity.

I expected it to be hard to leave today, knowing that she was buried here, and yet as I stood there, looking one last time, at the now dead flowers, I found that it wasn't that hard at all.  The flowers that after a week in the hot Florida sun and pouring afternoon rain, were faded droopy and obviously no longer in the land of the living, just reminded me that my baby isn't really there in the dirt, only the shell I held.  That the woman I imagine that she might have been is with our Lord.  It was good to be there, to see the Church yard, a place where we have so many good memories, where we have been encouraged and uplifted in song so many times, where we have heard so many scriptural messages that teach us about our hope.  It was good to be reminded of that, and to listen to Gary say prayer, and even though it still hurts it was ok to leave today.

8-29, A few very tiny shells we found.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Beautiful. And I've already had the thought several times that I'll pay special notice to the care of Abigail's grave. I'm sure others will too, but from time to time a rose, or daisy, or some other flower of beauty will be laid there.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the service. I had never held the funeral of a child, much less an infant, but I enjoyed (I know strange word) the service, and being part of this experience with you. Strange, I don't enjoy doing weddings (too many fears of messing up, and $1,000's of forgotten because the preacher goofed), but I am always grateful to officiate a funeral. Each time it just brings me closer to Christ, knowing the spirit of the one being buried recently journeyed from this world to the one to come for us."

We love you and your family, and take refuge in the knowledge that there are many folks in FL praying for you in your grief, and that won't end soon.